Mr Monguno chided the governor shortly after meeting with the president alongside other service chiefs at the Presidential Villa.
El-Rufai, Monguno and bandits
Composite of Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and bandits used to illustrate the story
President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime has excoriated Governor Nasir El-Rufai for talking too much, thus revealing security plans to bandits.
Specifically, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno Thursday condemned the Kaduna governor for parroting confidential information to bandits, making it difficult for security operatives to locate their hideouts.
“Governor Nasir El-Rufai spoke about the security agencies, saying we know who they are, where they are. Again, that is the danger. When you start talking too much, you give away a lot,” Mr Monguno chided the governor shortly after meeting with the president alongside other service chiefs at the Presidential Villa.
The NSA stressed that Mr El-Rufai’s inability to bridle his tongue on national security matters had caused the bandits to change location to avoid being caught by security agents deployed to arrest them.
“Now, even if they say we know where they are, that in itself is already a problem. Because once you say it, whether it is true or false, the person who has your people in captivity will move to another location. It’s just as simple as that. So, sometimes it is best to just keep silent; mum is the word,” Mr Monguno pointed out.
Kaduna has come under several bandit attacks, including the mass kidnapping of schoolchildren for ransom.
In March, bandits breached security at the international airport in Kaduna, leaving an aviation security guard killed after opening fire on workers and passengers. Barely 48 hours after, a Kaduna-bound train carrying over 1,000 passengers was bombed and hijacked by bandits who planted explosives on the rail tracks.
Reacting to the attacks, Mr El-Rufai had blamed the security agencies for not preventing the bandits’ offensives despite the resources and information at their disposal.
“We know where their camps are. We know where they are. The SSS have their phone numbers; they listen to them, and they give me the report,” the governor parroted. “We know what they are planning. We shouldn’t be waiting for them to attack. Why can’t we go after them?”
Mr El-Rufai said he did not care about the collateral damage the military’s offensives might cause, suggesting that he was willing to have innocent civilians killed along with bandits in Kaduna.
“We are in a state of war. This place should be declared a war zone. The army, air force, and the police should go in there and kill them. Will there be innocent casualties? Yes! In every war situation, there are casualties.”